How to Install Roof Rack on Car? Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking to add a roof rack to your car, there are a few things you’ll need to take into account. First, you’ll need to decide what type of roof rack system you want. There are three basic types: permanent racks that are mounted directly to the roof, semi-permanent racks that use clamps or straps to attach to the vehicle, and temporary racks that can be removed when not in use.

Key Takeaways

  • First, you need to find the right roof rack for your car.
  • There are many different types and sizes of roof racks, so make sure to choose one that will fit your car correctly.
  • Once you have the correct roof rack, take it out of the box and follow the instructions for assembly.
  • This usually involves attaching the feet of the rack to your car’s roof rails.
  • After the rack is assembled, place it on top of your car’s roof and secure it in place using the straps or clamps that came with it.
  • Make sure everything is tight and secure before driving off.
  • That’s it! You’re now ready to load up your roof rack with all kinds of gear for your next adventure.

Once you’ve decided on the type of system, you’ll need to choose the right size and style for your car. Most roof racks are made specifically for certain types of vehicles, so it’s important to get one that will fit your car correctly. Finally, you’ll need to install the system according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

This usually involves attaching brackets or rails to the roof of your vehicle and then attaching the rack itself. With a little bit of effort, you can easily add a roof rack to your car and make it more versatile and practical.

Universal Rooftop Roof Rack Crossbar Installation Guide

How Do I Install a Roof Rack on My Car?

Assuming you would like tips on installing a roof rack: Most roof racks come with instructions, and it is important to follow these as closely as possible. In general, however, the process is as follows:

1. Choose the appropriate crossbars for your car. Make sure they fit the width of your vehicle’s roof and that they are compatible with the specific type of rack you have chosen.

2. Attach the feet or towers of the rack to the crossbars, again following the manufacturer’s instructions. These will be what actually hold the rack onto your car.

3. If necessary, add additional components to the rack such as bike trays or ski holders. Once again, make sure everything is installed correctly according to the instructions.

4. Load up your gear onto the rack and hit the road!

Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide:

Install Roof Rack on Car 4

1. Start by reading the instructions that came with your roof rack. This will give you an idea of what parts you’ll need and how the rack needs to be installed.

2. Next, use a tape measure to determine where the rack needs to be mounted on your car. Once you have the measurements, mark the location with a pencil or chalk so you know where to drill holes for the mounting brackets.

3. Drill pilot holes into the marked locations, then use these holes to screw in the mounting brackets (again, following the instructions that came with your rack).

4. With the brackets in place, it’s time to attach the crossbars. Most racks come with two bars, which should be placed parallel to each other across the width of your car’s roof (again, consult your instruction manual). The crossbars typically have clamps on each end which allow them to be attached securely to the brackets – just make sure they’re tight enough so they don’t move around while driving!

5. And that’s it! Your roof rack is now installed and ready for use. Just remember to always double-check that everything is secure before heading out on any road trip adventures!

What are the Benefits of Having a Roof Rack?

A roof rack is a system designed to provide easy access to cargo on the roof of a vehicle. They are also known as luggage racks or carriers. Roof racks can be installed on virtually any type of vehicle, including cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs.

Many people find them useful for carrying sports equipment, camping gear, luggage, and other types of cargo. There are many benefits of having a roof rack. One benefit is that they make it easy to transport large or bulky items that might not fit inside the vehicle.

Another benefit is that they keep your belongings safe and secure while you’re driving. Additionally, roof racks can free up space inside the vehicle so you can pack more efficiently. And finally, they can give you more peace of mind knowing that your belongings are safely secured while you’re on the road.

Do I Need Any Special Tools to Install a Roof Rack?

No, you don’t need any special tools to install a roof rack. However, you will need some basic tools like a drill, screwdriver, and measuring tape. You’ll also need to purchase the correct size and type of rack for your car.

Make sure to follow the instructions carefully when installing the rack.

Can I Damage My Car by Installing a Roof Rack?

Yes, you can damage your car by installing a roof rack. If not installed properly, the roof rack can rub against the paint and cause scratches or even gouges. In extreme cases, the roof rack can come loose and fall off, causing serious damage to your vehicle.

How Do I Know If My Car is Compatible With a Roof Rack?

Most vehicles nowadays are compatible with roof racks, but there are still a few exceptions. If you’re unsure whether or not your car is compatible with a roof rack, the best way to find out is by consulting your vehicle’s owner manual. In the manual, look for a section on “roof racks” or “external luggage carriers.”

This section will list any specific requirements or restrictions for attaching a roof rack to your particular vehicle model. Another way to determine if your car is compatible with a roof rack is to simply measure the width of your car’s door frame.

Most roof racks are designed to fit within a standard door frame width, so if your car’s door frame is wider than average, it’s likely that you’ll have no problem attaching a roof rack.

However, if your car’s door frame is narrower than average, you may need to purchase an adapter in order to attach a roof rack.

If you’re still unsure about compatibility, the best way to find out for sure is by taking your car and some potential roof racks down to your local auto parts store or dealership and asking them for help. The staff at these locations should be able to tell you definitively whether or not any given roof rack will work with your car.

Conclusion

A roof rack can be a great addition to any car. It allows you to carry more gear with you on your travels, and it can also free up space inside your vehicle. But before you can start using your new roof rack, you’ll need to install it properly.

Best Seller List of Roof Racks:

Bestseller No. 1
MaxxHaul 70115 46" x 36" x 4-1/2" Roof Rack Rooftop Cargo Carrier Steel Basket, Car Top Luggage...
  • Instant cargo space for vehicle with cross bars; Basket size - 46" x 36" x 4-1/2"
  • Easy to assemble and install (assembly and mounting hardware are included)
  • Attaches to most cross bars with easy to use u-bolts for simple installation
  • Includes rubber caps to cover the U-bolts and protect the cargo
  • Powder coat finish
Bestseller No. 2
WEIZE 64 x 39 Inch Heavy Duty Roof Rack, 150Lbs Capacity Rooftop Cargo Carrier Basket with...
  • ✅ EXTRA STORAGE CAPACITY - Weize Roof cargo basket provides an extra storage space and safety for your items on the roof of your vehicle during traveling! This roof rack can be adjust size either 34.5 x 39 x 5" or 49 x 39 x 5" or 64 x 39 x 5" to fit different cars, such as SUV, MPV, pick-up.
  • ✅ ULTRA-DURABLE - The rooftop cargo carrier was constructed from tubular steel which is lightweight but high in strength, it can haul up to 150 lbs of cargo, gear, and equipment. The powder coat is also rust and corrosion-resistant, BUT it is still recommended to park your car indoors and use TRUCK BEDLINER PAINT to make the entire rack rustproof.
  • ✅ EXTRA SAFETY - It features a sleek fairing that helps to reduse noise and wind resistance. In addition, bottom metal bars and side rails keep your luggage secure during driving.
  • ✅ EASY ASSEMBLY - The welded frame comes in six sections, easily mounting onto most roof-rack crossbars with 4 U-bolts and other universal necessary mounting hardware, please contact us for free replacement if the components are missing or defective. ✅ This roof rack does not include the cargo bag, strap and net. If you need, you can search asin B0BTGZ7LFY
  • ✅ WARRANTY - WEIZE car roof basket aims for quality followed up with quality customer service directly provided by the manufacturer. A satisfied solution will be given for ANY of your problems. Our support team is on standby for YOU.
Bestseller No. 3
ACLONG Cross Bars Car Roof Rack 110CM- Universal Roof Bars Lockable for Cars Without Raised Roof...
  • 【Widely Compatibility】110cm Universal roof rack, Specifically designed for hatchback, saloon, estate, MPV, SUV, crossover cars without raised roof rails already fitted,these roof rack bars are suitable for 4 or 5 door vehicles.They offer a practical and stylish solution,making your car ready for any adventure.Note: Only Fits for most vehicles without Roof Side Rails. Apply to 130cm/51.18in(MAX)distance between car door frames. Please measure the roof span before ordering to make sure it fits your car
  • 【Lockable Design, Anti-Theft】Roof rack bars feature a lockable anti-theft design with two locks per bar,providing peace of mind and safeguarding your belongings during travel
  • 【Durable and Sleek Design】Made from black aluminum,these roof rack bars not only complement the aesthetic of your vehicle but also offer durability for long-lasting performance.The sleek design adds a touch of sophistication to your car's exterior
  • 【Easy to Install/Remove】With metal brackets that clamp under the door recess,our roof rack bars come with two clamp types for added convenience.The ratchet tensioners enable effortless adjustment,ensuring a secure fit without compromising on ease of use
  • 【Versatile Transport】Ideal for transporting items which won’t fit in your vehicle such as: bike , canoe, fishing, surfboards, kayaks, canoe, sporting goods, ladders, luggage and much more you want.Universal racks ready to accommodate your adventuring demands in any weather. We provide 1 years warranty, If you have any questions,feel free to contact us, we will reply you within 24 hours
Bestseller No. 4
WEIZE 54" x 34" Heavy Duty Roof Rack, Rooftop Cargo Carrier Basket with Waterproof Bag, Tie Down...
  • EXTRA STORAGE CAPACITY - Get an extra roomy 10 or 13 square ft. of space on top of your vehicle with this roof-mounted cargo carrier! WEIZE roof rack can be adjust to 35x34x6” or 54x34x6” to fit different cars.
  • ULTRA-DURABLE - The rooftop cargo carrier is constructed from tubular steel which is lightweight but high in strength, it can haul up to 150 lbs of cargo, gear, and equipment. It features sleek fairing that helps to minimize drag and noise, the powder coat is also rust and corrosion-resistant, BUT it is still recommended to park your car indoors and use TRUCK BEDLINER PAINT to make the entire rack rustproof.
  • EASY ASSEMBLY - The welded frame comes in four sections, easily mounting onto most roof-rack crossbars with 4 U-bolts and other universal necessary mounting hardware, please contact us for free replacement if the components are missing or defective.
  • USEFUL ATTACHED TOOLS - The SUV roof rack is equipped with 2pcs 12ft 2200lbs tie-down straps and 1pcs 36"x48" cargo net to provide more strength and protection when stretched over larger cargo items such as tents, luggage, storage boxes, and more.
  • WARRANTY - WEIZE car roof basket aims for quality followed up with quality customer service directly provided by the manufacturer. A satisfied solution will be given for ANY of your problems. Our support team is on standby for YOU.
Bestseller No. 5
ARKSEN 64 x 39 Inch Universal 150LB Heavy Duty Roof Rack Cargo with Extension Car Top Luggage Holder...
  • [LARGE STORAGE CAPACITY] Free up space in your vehicle with this roof rack cargo basket that can hold up to 150 lbs. Overall dimensions include: 64"(L) x 39"(W) x 6"(H).
  • [RIGID CONSTRUCTION] Heavy-duty steel construction with black powder coating resists weather elements and corrosion, offering several years of long-lasting use.
  • [EXTRA SECURITY] Bottom metal bars and side rails keep your items secure during traveling. Features a steel wind fairing to protect cargo from wind damage and reduce wind resistance.
  • [EASY INSTALLATION] Easy to install on most vehicles. This cargo carrier utilizes your car's crossbars, easily mounting with four universal U-bolts.
  • [VERSTAILE CARGO BASKET] Suitable for carrying camping supplies, firewood, luggage, hunting and fishing gear, and more during camping, road trips, or when moving.
Bestseller No. 6
PINGDIR Roof Rack Basket 51" X 36" X 5" Rooftop Rack Cargo Carrier Universal, Waterproof Cargo Bag...
  • Sturdy and durable :The roof rack basket is made of light weight and high strength steel tubing. Powder coated to resist rust ,luggage rack Can carry up to 200 lbs.
  • Easy Installation: Easy to install on most vehicles. roof rack cargo carrier utilizes your vehicle's crossmember and is easily installed with four universal U-bolts.Complete with mounting accessories
  • Suitable size: As shown in the picture, the size of the roof basket is 51'*36"*5" The size of the waterproof roof bag is 44"*36"*16"
  • Meet a variety of needs: A variety of ways to use with the cargo rack, net, waterproof bag, a full set of accessories to meet a variety of needs
  • Wide range of uses :This roof cargo carrier Suitable for carrying camping supplies, firewood, luggage, hunting and fishing gear when camping, road trips or moving...
  • Customer's satisfaction: customer is the first consideration. If you have any questions or do not understand anything about the cargo carrier trailer luggage rack, please contact us and we will solve any problems.
Bestseller No. 7
1,234 Reviews
ECOTRIC 64" x 38" x 4'' Universal Roof Rack Cargo Carrier Basket with Extension Heavy Duty Steel Car...
  • Detailed specifications: Mounts to vehicle's cross bars with 4 universal U-bolts.The roof basket can be extended to 64 inches or set to 43 inches only. Overall Dimensions w/No Extension: 43"(L) x 38"(W) x 4"(H). Overall Dimension w/ Extension: 64"(L) x 38"(W) x 4"(H) U-Bolt spacing: 1-7/8'' x 3-3/4". Weight Capacity : 250 LBS.
  • Useful function: Use this roof rack to store hauling extra luggage, camping equipment, cargo bags and more. Built for the outdoor adventurers lifestyle. Easy to install with 4 universal U-bolts. The bottom metal bars and side rails provide plenty of tie down points. A steel wind fairing is also included. Carry big loads and mount accessories directly to the crossbars or straight bars of this roof rack cargo basket.
  • Design: Material: Steel. Color: Black. Aerodynamic design helps reduce wind resistance and noise. 3-3/4" tall, 1" diameter side rails keep cargo in place. Accommodating square cross bars up to 3-3/4" wide x 1-7/8" thick or round bars up to 1-7/8" in diameter.
  • Warning: Never overload this rack! Though very durable, this external roof rack is not designed to protect the occupants of the vehicle in case of an accident or rollover. Please remove the luggage rack before washing the car automatically.
  • Widely adapted: Suitable for all models, such as Compatible with SUV, BMW, Pioneer, GMC Jimmy, Jeep Cherokee, Honda, etc. Ideal for road trips, fishing, camping and picnics.
Bestseller No. 8
WILDROAD Roof Rack Cargo Basket, Upgraded 4” Fence Car Roof Basket with Extension, 64"x 39"x 4"...
  • 4” ROOF RACK: Upgraded 4” fence basket by lower 2” height to accomplish extreme lightweight cargo rack, get great passability for your adventures. Aerodynamics designed wind fairing reduces wind resistance and noise, protects goods from wind damage. Full dimension is 64"(L) x 39"(W) x 4"(H), without extension rack: 43"(L) x 39"(W) x 4"(H).
  • HEAVY DUTY: Wildroad roof basket made of solid and premium steel pipe can hold up to 150 lbs cargo. Durable black powder coating prevent it from all weather conditions. Highest standard craftsmanship in the industry ensure its quality, each screw matches welding frame accurately.
  • VERSTAILE ROOF BASKET: Suitable for carrying camping supplies, firewood, luggage, hunting and fishing gear, and more during camping, road trips. U-bolt with plastic sleeve provides stronger grip to prevent metal frame from sliding and protect crossbars, lock the basket firmly than ever.
  • EASY INSTALLATION: Connect the joint of 3 frames then fix the screws to assemble a whole basket frame, mount on cross bars with 4 upgraded U-bolts. Accommodating square cross bars with a maximum size of 4.6 "wide x 1.8" thick and a minimum size of 4 "wide x 1.1" thick.
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: WILDROAD customer service team will answer any question to ensure a trouble-free ride and satisfaction. The excellent quality of our Roof Rack Basket is backed by a 1 year warranty.
Bestseller No. 9
Amazon Basics Cross Rail Roof Rack, 52 inches, Pack of 2, Black/Silver
  • 52-inch long cross rail roof rack mounts to most cars, SUVs, or crossovers with raised longitudinal rails, gap between rail and car roof must be 1/2 inch (1.3cm) and above, distance between the outer edge of two rails must be bigger than 38.6 inch (98cm) and smaller than 46 inch (117cm), diameter of rail must be within 1.4-2.1 inch (36-55mm). Vehicle fit found in Product Description below.
  • Installing rubber sealing trips into roof racks as per paper UM or DP video can reduce wind noise, the rubber sealing strips is included in product packaging
  • Heavy-duty aluminum crossbars offer a strong, lightweight construction that’s resistant to corrosion; 165 pound capacity
  • Easy installation with rubber-coated steel clamps that provide superior grip and damage protection
  • Built-in locking system on roof crossbars to prevent it being stolen
  • NOTE: Not recommend for installing our crossbars on car with closed rails which have no gap between rail and car roof, because the rail cannot be fully wrapped around by the clamp of our crossbar, this is not stable and will create potential hazards. 2020 Benz GLC and 2020 BMW X3 are this type of car
  • NOTE : Refer to video on how to choose and install Roof Rack
SaleBestseller No. 10
MPH Production 48" (120cm) Universal Fit Black Adjustable Aluminum Window Frame Roof Rack Cross Bars...
  • Fitment: Universal Fit For Most 4-Door Models Vehicles ( Cars, SUVs, Trucks, etc ) with Naked Roof (**IMPORTANT NOTE: Will not fit vehicles with any types of actual side rails, like integrated side rails, raised side rails)
  • Design: Window-Frame-Type Aluminum Roof Rack Cross Bars With Mounts & Locks ( Comes With 3 Different Sizes Of Mounts To Fit For Your Car Models )
  • Rail: 48" In Length. Adjustable Distance: 52" Maximum In Length
  • Color: Black
  • High Quality Removable Roof Rack Cross Bars made of light-weight Aluminum. Durable Tube Construction with Hold Up To a 150lb Capacity. They Attach To Side Window Frames To Transport Luggage, Ladders, or any other cargo

Last Update : 2024-03-26

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